A New Slogan For American Airlines?

Filed Under: American

For a while American Airlines management has been dropping hints that a new slogan should be imminent for the airline.

Shortly after American’s merger with US Airways, the company adopted the slogans “Going For Great” and “Great Is What We’re Going For.” At the time it was believable, as American Airlines was taking delivery of a lot of new planes with nice interiors, employees were overall pretty optimistic about the future of the airline, etc.

Suffice to say that things have changed since then in just about every way, for just about all parties (shareholders, employees, and customers). But the point of this isn’t to beat a dead horse, but rather to discuss what American may soon be choosing as their next slogan.

American Airlines’ New Slogan?

I think we’ve all been hoping that American Airlines will eventually come to their senses and give employees any sort of direction about where the company is headed. While a slogan or mission statement as such doesn’t do that, it certainly gives you a good understanding of what management is thinking.

View from the Wing notes that American Airlines filed four four trademarks on slogans in September 2019, and it sure seems pretty likely to me that one of these might be American’s new slogan.

Here are the four slogans that American Airlines has requested trademarks for, and then we’ll talk about them in more detail:

  • “To Care For People On Life’s Journey”
  • “We Fly So You Can Soar”
  • “Our Favorite Destination Is Yours”
  • “Time Well Spent”

“To Care For People On Life’s Journey”

My first thought when I heard this is that it sounds like the slogan for a nursing home, or something. It almost reminds me of Cathay Pacific’s new “Move Beyond” slogan, which I’m not a huge fan of.

Despite that, I think this is my favorite of the four choices. Why? Because it’s the only one that in any way engages American’s employees in the mission statement/slogan.

The airline is caring for customers, rather than the other slogans, which could apply to any airline.

I think this slogan would sound less terminal (and not in an airport way) if they changed “journey” to “journeys.” I actually kind of like “To Care For People On Life’s Journeys.”

“We Fly So You Can Soar”

We’re humans, not birds. And the first thing that comes to mind is “we fly so you can be sore,” given American’s new aircraft interiors. It also sets the bar low, and does nothing to differentiate American from any other airline.

Every airline flies, so why are American customers more likely to “soar?”

“Our Favorite Destination Is Yours”

This is clearly intended to emphasize that American is the largest airline in the world. Great, they fly a lot of places, but that doesn’t really in any way engage American’s employees or customers.

While I’m probably being a bit picky here, I also consider American to certainly be less global than United in terms of their route network, and globally they can’t compete with the likes of Turkish.

If my favorite destinations are Tahiti, Singapore, and Cape Town, is American my favorite airline, or United? Heck, if my favorite destination is anywhere in Africa with the exception of Casablanca a few days per week seasonally, does American really have me covered? 😉

“Time Well Spent”

This is probably the slogan I like least, because huh? It’s probably intentionally very open ended, but is this supposed to suggest that time spent on American Airlines is time well spent, or that American will get you where you need to go so you can spend your time well, or…?

This one does nothing for me.

Bottom Line

It’s expected that American will soon refresh their branding, though I wouldn’t get too excited about any major changes at the company otherwise.

I was hoping — though certainly not expecting — that American would eventually turn a corner and try to engage their people with new purpose. Unfortunately these four slogans suggest to me that’s pretty unlikely.

Only one of these slogans in any way engages American’s employees and talks about what they’ll do for customers, while the other three just kind of tell me that American flies a lot of places. It’s also possible that they end up going with a completely different slogan…

Lastly, while this obviously relied heavily on post-9/11 patriotism, can we just appreciate for a moment how brilliant American’s ad campaign was after 9/11? It still gives me goosebumps…

What do you make of these four slogans, and do you like any of them?

Comments
  1. I love watching those American post-9/11 ad videos every few months. Truly a brilliant ad campaign. Could even apply today. An ad campaign about bringing Americans together could work well.

  2. I don’t like them. How about a variation:

    American: Because the journey is as important as the destination.

  3. Wow, those TVCs are a bit emotional; I had not seen them before. I was working for an airline on that horrific day…and was personally touched with losses.

    Since then moved into the non-airline corporate world, accumulating about 2.5 million paid miles flown on AA/oneworld since I left the airline industry…(I rarely flew AA when I was in the industry, as I had “must go” status on several other airlines…including US Airways, ironically….and I always refused to bump a revenue passenger).

    I prefer not to beat up on AA. The experience may not be always perfect, but 90% of the time reliable, friendly and committed. I am proud to be loyal to American Airlines.

    I know it’s a blog, no worries…but don’t get caught up in a slogan.

  4. That they haven’t been able to come up with anything better than a phrase fitting a hospice is in itself symptomatic of a Hell culture. It’s like “We know we are dead but can’t do anything about it”, a slogan about which the joke was that even a certain town in West Florida evocating the Vesuvius had rejected it as too cruel.

  5. I think that some less aspirational but more realistic slogans might be in order, particularly considering that AA is very much not aspirational these days. I’d suggest “We’re better than Spirit sometimes”. That captures the market segment American is striving toward in a straightforward and honest fashion.

  6. I might be in the minority here but I think AA marketing department is the only department run well. Their flight video, magazine ads etc are usually well done.

    With that being said, the days of commercials like this are long gone. Due to the monopoly airlines find little value in video advertising. We all like to get goose bumps from watching this but the reality is price sells. AA is fixing the flying public largely what they wanted.

    Remember AA was the leader with leg room and even campaigned on it. No one cares. Price price price.

    Shit half my partners family fly allegiant. Talk about a dumpster fire airline.

    Instead of worrying about slogans, ads etc they should be focusing on changing the culture. AA needs to do the dominos tour and throw out their Mia culpas for all to see. And then actually change.

    It’s not rocket science. Give the customer a product you be be proud serving your mom. That should be written on a card all employees carry and look at before every flight.

  7. And they still fly an old 767 without TV screen on business class on international trips. And yes, they leave the old monitor that hangs from the ceiling showing a movie during the entire trip so you ave to sleep with that TV light on your face. What a joke of an airline.

  8. Did you make those slogan mockups, or are those from the registration? The placement of the word breaks is absolutely terrible, which is entirely in line with what I expect from AA these days.

  9. The slogan mockups are Lucky’s doing I believe, difficult to make better with wishful meaningless slogans that try to sell an image AA is not.
    Anyway, just flew with them again and I suggest they revert to a slogan that sounds true, like

    We’re bAAd, We’re bAAd, We’re really really bAAd !

    Surely MJ’s fans will apreciate this flagship song hijack.

  10. maybe something simple like “WE APOLOGIZE” for turning a once-great airline into the hot mess it is today

  11. Ben, the post 911 ads were absolutely brilliant and they can easily complete with even the super poignant ads of 5-star Singapore Airlines. It is worth pointing out that there is nothing preventing AA from reusing them … all they have to do is change a few sections to reflect the new livery and latest crew uniforms. However, these powerful ads were done by a previous management team and Doug Parker is such a lousy CEO that I don’t think he can motivate his staff to come up with something like this again because those ads were evidently done by people who took enormous pride in their jobs and Parker has pretty much destroyed AA’s morale. I sat across from Parker in First Class last year and he was super rude to the crew.

  12. Don’t get caught up with this slogan but for sure for sure for sure Doug Parker and his Tempe incompetent US Air if you want to call them Executives must go, if we don’t want a one time great American Airlines go deeper down the toilet. 35 years AA employee.

  13. Let’s hope American Airlines do realise difference between preaching and practicing of ethics. Cancellation of allotted flight by putting customer’s call on hold for over two and half hours just doesn’t fit into ethical standards of a good organisation.

  14. “To Care For People On Life’s Journey” – sounds like a funeral home
    “We Fly So You Can Soar” – so tacky
    “Our Favorite Destination Is Yours” – probably the best, but still cheesy
    “Time Well Spent” – sounds like Cathay

    Maybe BeBest? The poor old gal means the best, but it’s still a bit of a mess.

  15. Slogans mean nothing. What makes you think a slogan is related to what a company is thinking. “Going for great”. We’re they improving products and services ? We’re they improving operations ? We’re they trying to?

  16. “To care for people on life’s journey”

    Ben how the heck is this your favorite? American airlines allows people to fly in metal tubes when their mechanics aren’t playing games.

    How the heck is that caring for me on my “life’s journey?”

  17. I heard It was down to these choices: “It hard to soar with eagles when you’re flown by Turkey’s.” Or: “soon our CEO will join Amtrak just like Delta’s did!” Or: “American is not ready when you are, so (—–) off!”

  18. I am an employee at AA and because of the ruthless leadership of Doug Parker, I’ve decided it’s time to go! I can’t bear to work for the worst airline in the US! My personal slogan is Gone With The Wind.

  19. How about, When it rains, we stop flying? Apparently normal rain prevents them from flying to their destination and the only thing they provided their passengers with, was a few folding camp beds in an airport corridor…
    I’m just grateful I had travel insurance.

  20. I appreciate the humor some are offering, and my experiences with American over the past couple of years are a comedy of errors. I have to chuckle sometimes at their latest excuse for why they are late. I’ve thought “We apologize for the delAAy” should simply be added to the printed safety briefing they read.

    Still, I like Lucky’s suggestion that “To Care for People on Life’s Journeys” – with “Journeys” in the plural – really makes it sound like an airline rather than a hospice, and would at least signal to staff a direction away from “To Prod Self Loading Cattle Along Their Way,” which has sometimes seemed to drive the customer service concept. I don’t see slogans as culture changers, but yes they can offer some sense of purpose.

    In our organization each employee from top to bottom is required to sign off annually on a Customer Service Commitment, which reads in part:

    “I will serve all customers the way I want to be served when I am the customer.
    I will respond in a timely manner to customer inquiries and concerns, offering solutions wherever possible.
    I will treat all customers with professionalism, dignity and respect.
    I will strive to make every customer experience positive by going above-and-beyond whenever possible.
    I will follow through on my commitments in a timely manner.
    I will listen, be patient and understanding, and provide service with a smile.”

  21. They should use a clip from the movie Air Force One with the new slogan, read by an angry AA First fight attendant:
    “GET OFF MY PLANE.”

  22. The post 9-11 ads still work… might want to show those as training material in AA’s in-flight and customer service training programs…

  23. I think they would profit greatly from applying the same concept as public transport company in Berlin (BVG): they know they are useless, but they manage to acknowledge it and laugh about it. As you speak german Lucky, you should just check their YouTube channel called ‘weil wir dich lieben’. They have a new advertisement where they apply to be unesco world heritage. Another older video called ‘alles Absicht’ highlights their ability to laugh at themselves and is purely brilliant. I live in Berlin and use public transit daily. It is bad and inefficient and crowded and unreliable, but because of their funny advertisements that show the real deal instead of some utopian corporate nonsense – I am proud to use the product and will stand behind it no matter how bad it might be.

  24. All those potential slogans sound really overblown.

    How about something like “Striving for Mediocrity.”

    Or, nice and simple: “Meh.”

  25. AmerICAN. I can, is in our name. It’s our DNA. ( A culture of YES. Yes, I can help you, serve you, get you to your destination safely and on time!)

    And I really believe that about my company! 37 years…and still enjoying serving my passengers!!

  26. I was hoping this article would be about what American is saying they’d like to provide: MVPs, and the slogan was a tongue-in-cheek method of doing so.

    What’s MVP, you ask? Provide Most Valuable People to help passengers? No. More Visited Places, for their new routes? No.

    To American MVP means “Minimum Viable Product.” And it’s something they are looking to offer not just customers but employees and shareholders as well.

  27. Some variant of the old jingle,
    “We’re American Airlines, doing what we do …not as well as before but certainly ok from time to time, at least briefly”
    It would take free extra notes, but it could work.

  28. American Airlines:
    We like big ………………………………… Flags

    At least this would give the theme for the ad campaign. I can put much more up but AA employees have been kicked enough this year and my target is the management, not the employees. They work hard and I wish they would have the leadership worthy of it.

    Merry Christmas AA employees!

  29. @ John- that advertisement from 1982 is awesome! I’ve watched it on YouTube before and remember others from the early 1980s when it truly was a delight to fly American. I was in high school at the time and Crandall was just starting to turn the company around. I love how professional the employees look and act in the commercial, the experience is more like a going into a Taco Bell in the Bronx now, except the food isn’t as good at AA.

    Employees like these in that commercial were my inspiration when I joined AA 30 years ago as a flight attendant. Now, in 2019, morale has hit its lowest that I’ve ever seen.

  30. I forgot to mention in my previous post, among the employees, the joke was that our new slogan was “Going for Greyhound,” or “Going for late,” maybe we should use them.

  31. “American, because what other choice do you have?”

    On a side note, I connected to SE Asia with United and ANA in economy today, and I had a fantastic flight on UA. Better food and fast wifi made it the better flight for me vs the ANA flight, which I was totally not expecting to be able to say.

    Was on UA837 to NRT, friend was on NH7 on the same route, and both of us connected onto the same ANA flight.

  32. Thing is. American is really a rebranded America West. With that leadership, I’m not surprised how things are with them.

  33. I suspect they’re going to go with “We Fly So You Can Soar.”

    They already used that slogan in the latest Stand Up For Cancer commercial which has since been pulled from YouTube.

  34. We’re busy; don’t bother us.

    We don’t care, and it shows.

    How dumb can we be… let’s find out together.

    All good things…

  35. To care for people on life’s journeys?

    Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.
    A third person infinitive. Huh.

    That’s the worst one.

    It’ll be we fly so you can soar.

  36. How about one that is extremely close to the existing but more true in nature?

    “Going for late.” And “Late is what we’re going for.”

  37. Why not just reshoot these two great ads (post 9/11) with the new livery and be done with it. Both are much better than the 4 being proposed.

  38. America’s FLAGSHIP Airline, who sue Delta to have a flagship product

    American, we pretend to be the best

  39. “To shut down your account and cancel your tickets in the middle of life’s journeys”

    “American Airlines: Wanna play Russian roulette with your frequent flyer miles?”

  40. Our goal is 120% (booked)

    Get to know your neighbor (because your knees are in her back and the middle guy is in your seat, too)

    Smiles for miles (after you deplane and take selfies in baggage claim)

    Waiting for you (because the last flight was delayed)

  41. My father was a Pilot/Captain and worked for AA for 37 years. For decades, I was ALWAYS loyal to AA. Now everything has changed. It’s become the airline I try to avoid when possible. As others mentioned, I greatly miss the seat back screens…let their “brass” fly with small children for 12 hours and see how well it works for them. Grrrrrrr. No more AA…RIP Dad.

  42. None of these “slogans” are worthy of a marketing campaign, but not surprising. The only thing many employees would love to hear is Doug Parker is gone…maybe then AA could be “Something Special in the Air” once more.

  43. I’ve cone up with a few for them:

    * The Oasis of the skies
    * The missed connections you know about
    * Leaders in innovative seat placement
    * The best entertainment is your own

  44. So, everyone wants AA to be like it “used to be”, or like Delta, ain’t happening. US Air management is (essentially) now AA management.

    Most of the employees are being pressed with metrics and demerit systems that would make an Amazon Warehouse manager blush. And in many cases, you are dealing with contractors, not full time employees.

    The traveling public wants everything to be cheap and so do corporate travel departments, so buy your own upgrades.

    And I’ve witnessed more than one passenger treating AA employees (including calling them names) that would make their mothers ashamed; I like to call it ”Airline Terminal road rage”.

    AA and all the airlines have bent under the pressure of deregulation and Internet fare wars; this what the general traveling public wanted and they got it.

    As a business flyer, I miss the way it used to be; I also miss the pace of business discourse prior to incessant email, open offices, and in your face collaboration tools pushed by (my) corporate management.

    Either adapt or quit (stop flying) but taking shots on a blog rather than voting with your feet (or seats) is a waste of time; other than for the Host, who has monetized the effort.

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